Dial Down When Not Around

Many consumers have been slow to purchase a programmable thermostat. A recent survey showed that only 37 percent of homes use them.

Programmable thermostats may leave you cold (or warm), depending on the season. Some homeowners cannot face another technology learning curve, so its good to know that even manual thermostats can save energy.This can be done by simply dialing down( lower the temperature 5 to 8 degrees in the winter when the home is unoccupied). Similarly, the dial can be adjusted up 5 to 8 degrees in the summer as well.

But for the willing…and the brave…programmable thermostats offer additional energy savings and the chance to show this new technology who, exactly, is boss.

A programmable thermostat will adjust the indoor temperature according to pre-determined settings that take effect at different times of the day. They offer several advantages, including saving about ten percent on average per year from energy bills by automatically reducing indoor heating and cooling.

Most programmable thermostats come with pre-programmed settings, as well as the ability for homeowners to create their own settings. Wi-Fi connectivity  allows for remote control of the thermostat while smart thermostats will connect to a smart home platform. Other features may include touch pad screen programming, voice or phone programming, hold/vacation features, and even connectivity with mobile apps such as IFTTT( if this then that). IFTTT is an acronym for a technology that can actually adapt to changing conditions.

For example, homeowners can teach their thermostats to turn on away-mode when the front door is locked in the morning, or even turning on LED lights when the home is unoccupied.

To choose the correct programmable thermostat based on a homeowner’s needs, the first step is to evaluate schedules and routines. A seven-day model will provide the most flexibility and allow different programs to run on different days. A five-plus-two-day provides a five-day function with another for weekends. A five-one-one keeps temperatures the same during the week, and allows for variations on Saturday and Sunday.

Most units have an option to set different temperatures for different times of the day. For example, the heater can heat a room to 70 degrees at 4:00 PM then turn it down to 65 degrees at 10:00 PM. Many units allow changes up to four times per day for weekdays and two settings for the weekend.

While thermostats have serious work to do, they also have their lighter side. The latest thermostat designs have thinned down they are less noticeable, while others are made of metal for a more distinguished look. Other covers can be ordered with patterned or colored skins.


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